Attention

Attention. If you were to look up the word in the dictionary you would find words similar to this; ‘the act or faculty of attending, especially by directing the mind to an object.’ Or; ‘Observant care, consideration,’ or ‘notice or awareness’.

This last example is the one that I am interested in. Awareness, or similarly, attention. I came across a question yesterday. It is a question directed at oneself and can be formulated thus: Where is my attention now?

It is an interesting thing to have the awareness at occasions throughout the day to ask oneself; where is my attention now?

If you are at work, it should be on the work you are doing. If you are with a loved one, it should be only on them. And if you are on the beach or out in glorious nature, it should be on your surroundings!

But i’m afraid I have to point out that this is hardly ever the case. If we are outside in a beautiful setting, our attention is often elsewhere, on work or some other trivial matter. If we are with a friend or partner, do they have all of my attention or only a small part of it?

I felt like sharing this today because in theory this is a very simple exercise to do. Ask yourself whenever you can remember, or whenever it may come to mind: Where is my attention now? And just by asking this simple question, you will find it will be easier to have some small control over it for a second. But please, don’t take my word for it, try it.

If you find your mind racing at some stage during the day and dislike the flow of thoughts that constantly go on. Take a second for yourself… Just ask.

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7 Comments

Filed under Gurdjieff, positivity, Zen

7 responses to “Attention

  1. Attention, in the moment, on the activity you do. Giving attention to the important, not allowing others to capture your attention and thus control you.

    • Exactly Alex. The present moment is all that there is. If your attention is not here, right now, then it is off in either the past or the future. But it takes attention to keep it on the present, much easier to be off daydreaming somewhere. Thanx for the comment, it has made me think about it again with even more attention.

  2. Many people go through their day on autopilot. If they only did what you have suggested here, the quality of their life would be much improved.

    • Yes Paul. If only they did it is the whole point. To take a second to get out of autopilot is ones own choice. It takes attention and no one can do it for you. If someone does it attentively with the whole attention, it would be a taste that they will crave. Knowingly or unknowingly.

  3. It’s a nice word. I prefer to attend to what is happening rather than only catching a glimpse of it. I have been exploring this particularly in conversation, my weakest point. Instead of thinking about how I’m going to respond, I am trying to pay full attention to what the person is saying, really thinking about it, until they are done, then respond. Conversation happens more slowly this way but is far more meaningful! Thank you for the reminder…

    • A pleasure. It’s funny you mention that because I have been conducting a similar experiment. I found my attention left me as soon as someone asked me something or spoke to me. How I formulate it is that I try and be aware, like you say of what I am hearing. Then I will be sure to take an extra second to be aware while I’m responding. I agree with you it is a very difficult place to try and be aware. But what’s it worth if it is easy. Thank you for the comment, it has brought my attention back to an important idea.
      🙂

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